Anyone who knows me or has been taught by me will know how enthusiastic I am about encouraging others to create their own dance. I love to see movement, but more than that I really enjoy witnessing people realise that their body is capable of much more than they have ever given it credit for. When you go through this process you will know what I mean. The chances are, if you’re reading this post, you’ve been toying with the idea of choreographing something for yourself, if so – here are five reasons to create your own dance which may give you that extra little push.
Every single dance work I have ever watched has given me a glimpse into the eyes of the choreographer. What happened to them in their life that made them make those particular movement choices that resulted in a work like this? What research did they do? What experiences have they had that allowed them to see dance the way they see it now?
Dance gives you the opportunity to unintentionally put your life experiences into physical form. It may not be a literal representation, but as long as you understand it you will begin to embrace and understand who you are.
The Calorie Burn
When you create dance, the calorie burn is no joke. Once you start putting a few phrases of dance together you become so lost in the moment that you forget you are even exercising. Ten minutes feels like one. The longest solo I have created for myself is around 13 minutes which, as you can imagine, is pretty challenging on the body. However, during the creative process my body begins to build up some sort of stamina for it, so when it’s complete I don’t notice “the burn” until I am finished performing or rehearsing it. Some of my rehearsal shots do say otherwise though – You know, pole burn. Ha.
It’s an Outlet
If you feel like you need some sort of outlet for your busy head, choreography is the perfect way to create some space. Creativity, in general, is an outlet for many artists in a number of ways; think film makers, writers, painters etc. Dance is no different. Even if the something that needs to come out is not really of any importance, you can still find a place for it in the studio.
Learn Something New
If you lean more towards the contemporary dance side of choreography, it is not just a series of steps that you put together and that is it. It’s much more than that and is the perfect opportunity to learn about a new subject in great detail. When I was creating this work I did extensive research in to female sexuality in dance and alongside this I learned a lot about limited visibility of lesbian choreographers, how the objectification of women has shifted through various dance genres and why dance is such an empowering process for women. It was absolutely fascinating and really give me something to work with in the studio.
Prove Yourself to Yourself
No matter if you are a beginner, pro or somewhere in between, once your work is complete you will look at it and be in complete and utter awe of yourself because you are proud of your creation. Getting past the ups and downs, the problem solving and the other road block, you prove that you can do what you set your mind to it. This feeling of accomplishment is transferrable and can be applied to other things that you might want to try. Something I try to take from choreography is that I never create with the intention of pleasing other people. It’s too frustrating because I know I will never please everyone. This can and should be applied to other aspects of life. Never try to please everyone.
Hopefully you are inspired to dance / create for yourself. If so, be fearless because who cares if no one gets it. It’s yours. It’s your creation. Your journey. Your process. Enjoy it and watch how it changes you.